by: Cindy Ford
John 13: 12-17 “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Feet are gross! That is just the way they are. Baby feet are cute and fresh, older people’s feet are, well I hope you understand, old and weird. Imagine how strange it was to the disciples that God Himself was washing their filthy feet. Truly, one of the most-humble statures we can exhibit is that of being on our knees washing and rubbing feet. Jesus states in v. 16-17 that we should be humble through His example and we will be blessed.
My sister and I were out having lunch the other day and I must have commented on someone’s shoes, or smelly feet or something similar and she replied, “You really like feet don’t you.” I did not need to think about that, my response was quick, “Ew, gross, No, I don’t like feet.” Then the Holy Spirit reminded me why she thought that, one of our family members was recently pregnant and I washed, dried and lotioned her feet. She is not a Christian and may never understand why I offered to lavish her swollen feet, or maybe she will. My job is to be a humble servant, to love people where they are.
We are required to plant seeds and subsequently we may never know how God will use our obedience when we exhibit humility through service. I shared with my sister Jane over lunch that day why it appears that I like feet and she understood because she loves Jesus too. It was not just our pregnant family member who experienced the foot washing, all who were present witnessed humility. That in itself is enough blessing for me.
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Never read this passage without remembering a speaker at a conference who was speaking to us about the kind of servants we should be. There had been comments about how far we should travel or how many hours we should spend getting to a place to serve, or if we should be recognized by name for our service. And then, Bob reminded us of the example of Jesus, washing the disciples' feet and Bob said - We are to be TOWEL people... An example of the kind of servant we need to be found in an ordinary household item, but not so ordinary when we know what Jesus did with a towel.